It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here – I’ve been a bit busy! (Excuse me a moment while I dust off this blog and throw open some windows!)
So. I spent most of last year working on a brand new book, False Idols. (Hence the lack of blogging). And I’m thrilled to announce, it’s out today!!!
False Idols tells the story of an FBI linguist named Layla el-Deeb, who is deep undercover posing as an heiress and art collector in Cairo, Egypt. She must infiltrate the highest echelons of society in order to trace priceless relics from their millionaire owners back to illegal digs and the terrorist groups profiting from their sale. Her trouble past and her feelings for an art dealer’s son begin to complicate her judgment, and when she uncovers a terrorist plot that threatens American and Egyptian lives, she must decide where her loyalties truly lie.
Wow – BLUE VOYAGE was selected as a 2016 “Must-Read” for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! I’m so honored to be in the company of these amazing authors. Congratulations to all Massachusetts Book Awards winners and honorees! Do check out all the great reads across categories on their poster, which will be distributed to libraries throughout the state. (Blue Voyage is listed on the right sidebar, second from the bottom).
Continuing my series of actual travel photos that inspired BLUE VOYAGE scenes, here’s another!
This is me, in a cave in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. This region is honeycombed with caves and tunnels and entire underground cities, of which this is one. Various civilizations took up residence in these caves in ancient times, one civilization eventually replacing another. People lived sometimes eight stories underground, bringing their livestock down with them. This is one of the coolest yet creepiest places I’ve ever been. At least I had a tour guide and a light, and some air, all those good things. In BLUE VOYAGE, Zan isn’t quite so lucky, and she’s desperate to find her way out! I was glad I had experienced the cave cities firsthand and journaled about it later; when I wrote the cave scenes with Zan, I was able to recall the way the walls felt when you scraped against them, the distinctive odor, and the immense sense of claustrophobia. (Notice I’m not exactly smiling in this picture!)
An evil eye cake from Ohlin’s Bakery!
It was a busy weekend, celebrating BLUE VOYAGE’s launch! Many thanks to Porter Square Books in Cambridge for hosting the Evening Edition of my two-part release party!
And thank you to Ohlin’s Bakery in Belmont for a glorious and delicious cake! This cake represents a nazar, an evil eye charm to protect against the evil eye, so hopefully we all internalized a bit of good luck.
I know something was working for me on Friday because I got through the awful Friday traffic and found a parking spot right in front of the store!
I chose to have a nazar cake and to give out small evil eye beads for party favors because the evil eye protector is important in Turkish culture and very important to Zan in the book. (When she breaks a nazar bracelet, things start to get really tough for her!) (more…)
Here’s the Blue Voyage Story-Behind-the-Story photo of the day! (Scroll back through this week’s previous post to see my daily photos from a trip to Turkey and the scenes they inspired in the novel!)
This is the roof of a small hotel I stayed at in Istanbul. The rooftop garden and patio inspired scenes in a similar (but fictitious) boutique hotel that is run by Zan’s Aunt Jackie. Zan spends a lot of her down time on this roof looking at the sea on one side and the Blue Mosque on the other — and at an intriguing boy on the rooftop next door!